H2-A Visa

Agricultural Worker Visa
Requirements, Benefits, Limitations and Forms

The H-2A visa allows migrant workers to enter the United States in order to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work. The H-2A visa holder must have a valid job offer from a U.S. employer for temporary agricultural work. The agricultural employer has the burden of proof to show that there are no eligible U.S. workers to fill the job.Benefits of the H-2A Visa
  • Workers employed under this visa are covered under U.S. wage laws, workers’ compensation and other standards of employment.
  • Dependents of the H-2A visa holder are also allowed to enter and stay in the U.S.
  • H-2A visa holders are able to travel in and out of the U.S. unrestricted for the duration of their visa.
  • The wage rate must be as high as that given to a U.S. worker.
  • The employer must provide free housing for workers that are unable to return to their homes at the end of the work day.
  • The visa holder may apply for an extension of stay.
  • The employer may apply for a renewal of their certification.
  • Dependents may study in the U.S.

Limitations

  • The employer must file an application requesting the hiring of temporary foreign agricultural workers.
  • Employers must allow at least 45 days for the certification to be processed.
  • Employers must also file a petition with the Department of Labor stating that they cannot find sufficient U.S. labor.
  • Employment must be temporary or seasonal not to exceed one year.
  • Employers have the burden of proof in showing the need for foreign workers.
  • Dependents of the H-2A visa holder are not permitted to work in the U.S.

Requirements

  • The agricultural employer must anticipate a shortage of eligible U.S. workers available to perform the temporary or seasonal job in order to bring in to the U.S. a non-immigrant foreign worker.
  • The agricultural employer must be able to show an active effort in recruiting eligible U.S. workers.
  • The H-2A visa applicant must have a valid job offer from a U.S. employer for seasonal agricultural work.
  • The H-2A visa applicant must be able to prove their intent to return home to their country of origin.

Documentation Required

  • Form ETA-750A, Application for Alien Labor Certification to be filed by the employer with the Department of Labor
  • Form ETA-790, Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order to be filed by the employer with the Department of Labor
  • Form I-129, Petition for Non-immigrant Worker to be filed by the employer
  • Form DS-156, Non-immigrant Visa Application

Given the high stakes of the outcome of your H-2A visa application, it is important to understand your rights and your obligations under the law. If you are ready to begin the application process or have questions, then contact us today to schedule a call or a meeting. We are more than happy to call you wherever you are in the world at no cost to you.


Eliana Phelps

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